I went to the Sco Natio Gallery o Mo Art today. Ok, it wasn’t today, it was Monday (I wrote this in advance) and I actually went to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, but the way they’d lined up all the ‘O’s on their branding amused me. I wonder if the ‘Oooo’ is the noise you’re meant to make as you go round the exhibits…
And well you might! The buildings and their parks alone never fail to impress and currently the Sculpture Show they’ve got on, nicely puts a focus on the works out in the grounds.
I currently work for another gallery in Edinburgh. Being back soundly in a visual arts environment is one of the drivers of my cultural traffic at the moment. I’m really enjoying re-immersing myself in (capital ‘A’) Art language, after being more in film and performance environments for a number of years.
One thing that today really came out, because of the excellent curation and the text in the galleries, was the way in which each art form is dancing the same social reality of its time, and that the innovations of form and technique can be put into the background once there’s been a bit of water under the bridge, so that you can see what really belongs together, and what’s being said.
There was one room in particular that lit this clearly for me, ‘Geometry of Fear’ I think it was called. It showcased work made by artists emerging in the 1950s and how their gaunt, scratched, scrambled figures seemed to speak of the fear of living in the shadow of the atomic bomb and imagined nuclear apocalypse with the memories of the atrocities of WW2 still fresh. I got a real jolt out of artists I hadn’t really cracked before, like Paolozzi.
I’d recommend seeing the show if you get the chance. It’s interesting and comprehensive on the different movements in sculpture – for example, discussing whether there could even be such a thing as Impressionist Sculpture given the insistent solidity of the form. There’s a brilliant surprise in the second room on your right (approached through the Ron Mueck), but maybe I won’t say what it was and spoil it 😉
Oooo! And they had this painting by John Maxwell on display that I’ve been wanting to see in real life for years. It was my desktop on my old computer.